The Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) is building on the foundation established by the work of the Oakland Economic Recovery Advisory Council (OERAC) and the COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force, two large and diverse advisory groups that helped the City of Oakland make immediate responses throughout the pandemic. OERAC and the COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force produced numerous important policy recommendations that shaped ongoing actions in Oakland, including health and safety measures, the Oakland Resilient Families Guaranteed Income pilot run by the Family Independent Initiative, and flexible use of public space through the Flex Streets Initiative. Many members continue to help shape Oakland’s recovery. These recommendations also guided how the City and EWDD distributed funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
An equitable recovery leads with those who have experienced and survived the most severe impacts of the pandemic. In addition to the Oakland Economic Recovery Advisory Council, 10 business service organizations, including Oakland’s chambers of commerce and Visit Oakland, 48 small businesses (72% owned by people of color and 64% women-owned) and three community service organizations across the city (East, Downtown and West Oakland) contributed their ideas for recovery.